Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen.
By Patrick Ugeh
Of the N47.4 billion released to the Federal Ministry of Works so far for the first and second quarters of the 2012 fiscal year, N44.073 billion has been spent on road projects alone, according to the minister, Mr. Mike Onolememen.
He said the fund utilised from the fund released represents 93 per cent.
However, the released amount is only 31 per cent of the N143.5 billion appropriated in the ministry’s annual budget.
Onolememen gave these figures during his presentation on “Matters Arising” from the 2012 budget briefing at the weekend.
According to the minister, 156 projects are in their various stages of completion while 28 highway projects are under the process of procurement for design and construction with four others already awarded during the 2012 budgetary year.
He said the ministry was focusing greater attention on funding and completion of ongoing road projects to attain the goals of the transformation agenda of the Federal Government.
According to him, the thrust of the 2013 budget is to “concentrate on funding some major ongoing road projects that are critical to the socio-economic well being of the country in line with Key Performance Indicators” like reduction of road accidents induced by bad roads nationwide and the need to reduce travel times for Nigerians by 30 per cent.
He, however, lamented that inadequate funding of road projects, which accounts for delayed implementation of road projects, the heavy reliance on road transportation in Nigeria, abuse of road infrastructure and others were some of the challenges confronting the ministry.
Commending the activities of his ministry in the past two quarters in the year 2012, Onolememen noted that “the future is very bright for Nigerian roads as the foundation for a world class road infrastructure is currently being laid.”
Onolememen stated that the Federal Executive Council has already approved the appointment of transactions advisers for both projects.